19 August 2008

Who is still skeptic about solar energy?

Dear Readers,

I perfectly remember when some years ago, talking with a professor at my university I asked him which was the efficiency of a solar cell. His answer was straight away: theoretically, 25%.

Nowadays, thanks to two different research groups, the efficiency of the solar cell might be dramatically increased.
The two independent and separated researches have been carried out in:
The first investigation (see figure above), proved that the efficiency of a solar cell might be, from a theoretical point of view, double by exploiting the so-called avalanche effect, which generates, under particular conditions, from one received photon more than one electron.

The second research analyses instead an innovative way to trap the solar light into a material in order to improve the efficiency of a solar panel.
The technique (displayed in figure aside) uses transparent dyes to capture, concentrate and finally redirect light along the surface of the glass to photovoltaic cells in the frame, which convert the light into electricity. This last technique seems promising from a cost-production point of view.

Clearly, these two represent important steps to increase the efficiency of solar panels, and to strengthen the position of who wants to finally get rid off the oil consumption by implementing renewable source of energy.

best wishes,

Sometimes the economic hit men get hit too!

Dear Readers,

Few weeks ago I reported the review of one of the last book I read, "Confession of an economic hit man", written by Mr. John Perkins.

Yesterday I found the following news on my favourite source of information: BBC:

Venezuela takes over cement units, and Venezuela to seize cement plants.

They both describe the ongoing nationalization of cement companies in Venezuela.
In fact, the Venezuelan government, lead by Mr. Hugo Chavez, deliberated the nationalization of the cement companies, which were mainly owned by foreign corporations, in order to lower the price of the cement inside the Latin American country and also to concentrate the sales inside the continent rather than overseas.
This nationalization follows the previous ones concerning oil, telecommunication, iron and steel industry and electricity companies.

If we keep in mind the John Perkins's work, we could state that sometimes the economical hit men are hit instead of hitting.

The Venezuelan nationalizations are part of the so-called XXI century socialism program.
And although I do not personally entirely support Mr. Chavez policy, I have to recognize that he is one of the few strong and charismatic leaders capable to defend the interest of the poor people of his country against the power of Corporatocracy.
Mr. Chavez, along with some of his colleagues leaders of Latin American developing countries. is seeking a new (different) way to rescue the martyred population of that continent from the foreign (western) interests that for more than 500 years have decided the destiny of South America. Therefore, I believe he needs our support.

I wish you all the best,

16 August 2008

How would you define a country?

Dear Readers,

have you have ever thought about the definition of country?

I picked it up this argument several times during my life and I never came up with an unique conclusion.
But let us proceed in a systematic way.
Therefore let us define the main characteristics of being a country (but they do not need to be satisfied all at the same time).

A geographical area is a country if :
  1. It has well defined borders
  2. It is officially recognized
  3. It has a parliament legislating on it
  4. It has its own constitution
  5. It has its own police, army, educational system etc.
  6. It has its embassies all over the world
  7. It has its official language (or more official languages)
  8. It has its own shared history
  9. It has its own traditions (religious, food, etc.)
  10. ...
According to these definitions, the most of the countries on this earth can satisfied the majority of them, and therefore they theoretically have the right to be called: country.
On the other hand, we know several other places which, although they respect these definitions, they are not yet officially recognized with this political status.

Let us take some examples: Palestine, Kurdistan, Taiwan, and Chiapas.
All of the them respect condition 1, 3, 4 and 5, which are in my opinion the most characterizing and most complicate to be fulfilled, but...
All of them do no respect condition number 2, which is in the current world the most needed. In fact, this condition basically states that "you legally exist only and only if the others (the powerful nations) allow you to legally exist".

This principle is against any morality!
Let us make a comparison: we take a no official country as Kurdistan and an official country as San Marino. Which of them does better fulfil the country definition?
San Marino occupies a small territory in the north of Italy. The territory is so minuscule, that if you do not know exactly where it is, you can pass through without knowing that you just crossed the borders of one of the richest country in the world.
On the other hand, Kurdistan is approximately as big as 5000 times San Marino, but it seems that it does not deserve the same status.

You can observe that the size is not important to identify a nation. I accept this observation.
But what about the fact that San Marino mainly exists because some rich people needs it in order to carry out their money laundry and Kurdistan must not exist, because it is divided among three countries, which wants to exploit its natural resources as oil and copper?

Before I conclude I would like to remark that there is a huge number of geographical areas like ones mentioned above, which do not have a recognized international status just because some powerful nation needs them in order to exploit their natural resources, while on the other hand very small islands, outlying place in some ocean, officially exist just because of the need of money laundry. Money earned, either in a illegal or illegal way, by the wealthy nations.
Moreover, the population of these areas are usually treated by the media of the nations which are exploiting them or using them as terrorists, bandits and in general criminals.
And seldom, very seldom, they are referred to with their real name: Victims!!!

Please comment it, and please justify your opinion.
All the best!

15 August 2008

Speech - Statement on the Assassination of Martin Luther King

Dear Readers,

here another speech delivered by Sen. Robert Kennedy, for the italian version click here.
The 4th of April 1968, Sen. Robert Kennedy communicated to a gathered crowd the dramatic news of the cruel assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King.

In this short and extremely intense speech, Sen. Robert Kennedy addressed the audience to avoid to feel into the trap of violence, by strongly underlining that USA did not need a further escalation of hatred and violence, but rather love and compassion. He concluded his talk, by begging his countrymen, once arrived home, to pray for Dr. King family, and for the USA.

The moral depth of this statement provided by Sen. Robert Kennedy, in relation with this tragic event, assumed an even higher value considering that after only two months and two days, he would have been himself victim of another brutal assassination in Los Angeles.

Compared with the extraordinary high moral values expressed into the speech, my comments are useless. Therefore I will leave you alone with Sen. Robert Kennedy own voice in awhile.

But before I terminate, I want to strongly prod you to meditate on Sen. Kennedy words.
Meditation alone is, by the way, not enough...and paraphrasing a famous Latin sentence, we could say that "scripta volant, res manent"!
Therefore let force each of us (only for whom did not start yet) to actively contribute to change this world and make it a better place for us and for whom will follow us. Let us fill humanity with compassion, love and help, exactly as Sen. Robert Kennedy asked us to do.

yours sincerely,

Discorso - Dichiarazione sull'assassinio di Martin Luther King, Jr.

4 Aprile, 1968
Indianapolis, Indiana

(Purtroppo) ho una brutta notizia per voi, per tutti i nostri concittadini, e per le persone che amano la pace in tutto il mondo. La cattiva notizia e' che Martin Luther King e' stato sparato ed ucciso questa notte.

Martin Luther King ha dedicato la sua vita all'amore ed alla giustizia per tutti gli esseri umani, ed e' morto per colpa di questo sforzo.

In questo difficile giorno, in questi tempi difficili per gli Stati Uniti, e' forse bene che ci chiediamo che tipo di nazione siamo e verso quale direzione vogliamo muoverci.
(Mi rivolgo ora) a quelli che fra di voi sono neri, tenendo conto del fatto che evidentemente i responsabili erano bianchi, e che potreste essere (ora) pieni di amarezza, d'odio, e desiderio di vendetta. Noi possiamo muoverci verso questa direzione come (un sistema) paese, (o possiamo andare) verso una grande divisione, neri fra neri, bianchi fra bianchi, (ognuno) che odia l'altro.

Oppure, possiamo fare uno sforzo, cosi' come Martin Luther King fece, per capire e per comprendere, e per replicare quella violenza, quella macchia di sangue che si e' diffusa attraverso il nostro paese, con un sforzo per capire con compassione ed amore.

(Rivolgendomi ancora) a coloro che sono neri, e colmi d'odio, e sfiducia nell'ingiustizia di un simile atto, nei confronti di tutti gli uomini bianchi, io posso solo dire che provo nel mio cuore lo stesso sentimento. Io ho avuto un membro della mia famiglia ucciso (ndt. il fratello, Presidente John Kennedy), ma fu ucciso da un bianco.
Ma dobbiamo fare uno sforzo negli Stati Uniti, dobbiamo fare uno sforzo per capire, per andare oltre questi tempi piuttosto difficili.

Io mio poeta preferito e' Eschilo, scrisse: "nei nostri sonni, le pene che non possiamo dimenticare cadono, goccia a goccia sopra il cuore fino quando, nella nostra disperazione, contro la nostra volontà, viene (in soccorso) la saggezza attraverso la maestosa grazia di Dio".

Quello di cui abbiamo bisogno negli Stati Uniti non e' divisione, quello di cui abbiamo bisogno non e' odio, quello di cui abbiamo bisogno non e' ne' la violenza ne' l'assenza di leggi; ma amore e saggezza, compassione di ognuno verso l'altro, ed un sentimento di giustizia verso quelli che soffrono ancora nel nostro paese, sia che siano bianchi o sia neri.

Di conseguenza, vi chiederò di tornare a casa, di pregare si per la famiglia di Martin Luther King, perché e' giusto, ma ancora più importante di pregare per il nostro proprio paese; che tutti noi amiamo; una preghiera per capire e (avere) la compassione di cui ho parlato.

Possiamo fare bene in questo paese. Avremo tempi difficili; abbiamo avuto tempi difficili nel passato; avremo tempi difficili nel prossimo futuro. (Questa) non e' la fine della violenza; non e' la fine dell'assenza della legge; non e' la fine del disordine.

Ma la vasta maggioranza delle persone bianche e la vasta maggioranza delle persone nere di questo paese vuole vivere insieme, vuole migliorare la qualita' della nostra vita, e vuole giustizia per tutti gli esseri umani che dimorano nel nostro paese.

Cerchiamo di dedicare noi stessi a cio' che i greci scrissero molti anni fa: addomesticare la selvatichezza dell'uomo e rendere la vita di questo mondo serena.

Cerchiamo di dedicarci a cio', e di dire una preghiera per il nostro paese e per la nostra gente.

7 August 2008

Book Review - Confession of an Economic Hit Man

Dear Readers,

I just finished to read the following very interesting book, entitled
"Confession of an economic hit man", written by Mr. John Perkins.
Mr. Perkins is currently an US activist and he rose to fame since he published the mentioned book .

In "Confession of an economic hit man (EHM)", Mr. Perkins describes his experience within the Corporatocracy system around the globe.
He worked for several decades as EHM for a company called MAIN where his job was basically to predict bloated rates of growth for so-called developing countries.
As direct consequence of the future bloated rates of growth, the EHM had the role to convince the governments of those countries in order to acquire western companies technologies needed, for example, for power plants, new airports, etc.

Indeed, these infrastructures and technologies were not needed by the countries that got this "offer". But although there was no demand, the demand had to be created. In fact, the EHM rather than convince, had to corrupt the governments of developing countries.

By operating in such a way, an Economic Hit Man (EHM) brought tens of those nations under the direct control of western companies and governments, and the new bought unneeded infrastructures ended up to be useful only for few rich families, and condemned the poor to even worsen their social conditions. In fact, the developing countries had to pay the unneeded bought infrastructures, and there were basically only two ways to put the debt right:
  • The first way is represented by a payment back by means of natural resources. A typical victim of this first solution is Ecuador, which was forced to allow the exploitation of its oil resources to companies as Chevron and Texaco, by suffering the consequent destruction of large part of the Amazon area. Area where old civilizations were living in peace with the forest. The cancellation of that area condemned these populations to leave the forest, which mean condemns them to endless poverty.
  • A second way that does not exclude the first, is the payment back by applying for a loan. The loan was obviously offered by banks in good relations with the same companies , which were building the infrastructures. The government of both, bank and industries, was giving its strategic political support. By acting like that, the Corporatocracy forced the developing countries to get into debt forever. This is the famous debt of the developing countries.
Seldom, the governments of these countries did not accept to be corrupted by EHM, in other words the EHM failed. In a Mafia-like society, as the one of the corporation, this cannot be accepted, and the standard procedure planned a second phase: the step in of the jackals, which are nothing else than secret agents (e.g. in the case of the book, they belonged to the CIA). The task of jackals was to remove any obstacle to the realization of the initial plan, in other words their task was to physically eliminate the uncorrupted government that dared to face the current western company and government. Typical cases cited in the book are: Omar Torrijos (President of Panama) and Jaime Roldos (President of Ecuador).

In case that jackals failed too, the army would have finally unilaterally attacked the refusing government, by condemning to death several civilians. The book cites as a clarifying example the case of Iraq.
In Iraq it was impossible to "convince" Saddam to accept the second part of the deal signed with the Corporatocracy. Moreover, the jackal failed due to high-professional skills of Saddam personal security. It is famous the case of a perfect replica of Saddam.
Therefore, the last step was the army. And this is the Iraq war: a war that is exponentially increasing the wealth of few rich people, and bringing bilions of people to the starvation.

I hope that after this brief summary you are now curious to read this book. A book where you could find more details and reference than what I have presented here!

Thanks for reading!